Ever gone to a wedding and predicted that it wouldn’t last?
I can’t think of a more sad, sad thing, that the genesis of a marriage, of a family, of a designed-to-be-eternal union could be already destined for the end.
But with over half of all American marriages ending in divorce in our culture, I bet there are thousands of people quietly sitting at weddings thinking about divorce.
It’s not good for families, not good for the couple, and it’s really detrimental to all of society.
In fact, I’ve read that in spite of the fact that Catholic parishes are closing for lack of priests, “the single greatest vocation crisis in the church is marriage.” And I believe it.
NFP Info Night
In the fall of 2013 (wayyyy too long ago!) my husband and I hosted an incredible presentation at our church. Teachers representing three methods of Natural Family Planning joined us for an NFP information night, and we’ve finally edited the videos together so I can share that information with you.
The three methods are the Couple to Couple League’s sympto-thermal method, the Creighton Model and the Billings Ovulation Method.
It’s wedding season…and there’s no more important and valuable way to start a marriage than with the right foundation for sex, family, and God: Natural Family Planning.
As you’ll see in the video, NFP promotes communication for the couple, and even though it’s not always easy, couples practicing NFP only experience a 4% divorce rate.
It just may be the weapon we need on the front lines in the battle against broken marriages and hurting families.
Natural Family Planning: Three Different Methods that Every Couple Needs to Understand!
If you can’t view the video above, click HERE to see it on YouTube.
If you’re in the West Michigan area, find info on all our wonderful NFP resources, teachers, classes and events (from all methods) here: www.GRNFP.org
For those who don’t have time to watch the whole thing, here is a breakdown of the main points so you can skip around:
- The basic definition Of NFP: Analyzing a woman’s cycle and physical clues to determine the couple’s mutual fertility, then choosing whether to seek or avoid pregnancy in a given cycle by timing intercourse appropriately, based on the couple’s discernment.
- Cultural challenges to NFP
- Important note: This info night is not a crash course in HOW to practice NFP, just an overview of the basic methods. You should take a class in order to learn it properly!!
- 4:20 the physical, emotional and environmental side effects of contraception
- One source: Estrogen in our water
- 6:00 Why the Catholic Church says contraception is immoral.
- 6:50 Is NFP just Catholic contraception?
- 7:30 Humorous video on NFP vs. contraception
- 10:30 Janet Smith’s weight loss analogy for NFP and contraception
- 12:50 slide show introduction to Natural Family Planning (via the Billings Ovulation Method)
- includes marriage benefits, Catholic Church teachings, why it’s different from the rhythm method (radically!), 97-99% Perfect Use Effectiveness in avoiding pregnancy, effective at achieving pregnancy, biological and relational differences between NFP and contraception
- 25:00 Introductions of all 3 sets of teachers and their methods; you’ll get a quick overview of the differences and similarities of the various methods in this part
- 33:00 Question 1: Origins of each method, who started it, etc.
- CCL: Sympto-thermal
- 37:25 Creighton Model, Pope John Paul IV Institute, NaPro Technology
- 40:55 Billings Ovulation Method, developed in 1953 by Drs. John and Evelyn Billings
- 43:40 Question 2: What coursework did you have to complete to become an instructor?
- 51:05 Question 3: What tools do people need to use this method? (charts, technological apps, etc.)
- Billings, then CCL, then Creighton (CCL’s app is called CyclePro; there are a number of different apps that can track fertility applicable to all methods)
- 56:20 Question 4: How can a couple use NFP to both achieve or avoid pregnancy?
- Bottom line: It’s all about knowing your fertile and infertile times and choosing love-making timing accordingly. (Kid alert: There’s mucus talk in this one!)
- 1:01:25 Question 5: What do you say to people who say, “NFP just isn’t effective!”
- Billings answered first – there are a lot of misconceptions out there, so if you haven’t tried it, with a course from an actual instructor, you don’t know enough to state that.
- 1:04:30 Question 6: What do you say to people who say it’s just way too hard to practice NFP?
- Creighton answered first: “Anything worthwhile is often challenging at first…” In time it’s no harder than anything else.
- 1:06:39 Why do you love teaching NFP?
- 1:10:55 Finding the right fit: What kind of person would be a good fit for your method?
- Creighton, then Billings, then CCL
- 1:18:36 Another NFP vs. Contraception humorous video
- 1:19:40 We come back, but oy! We switched cameras because we needed a new battery, and this one was possessed. So there’s no video, just audio for a while.
- 1:19:55 US News and World Report: “Devout Catholics have sex more frequently, are more likely to take their sex lives seriously, and are more comfortable with the idea of sexual pleasure than any other demographic, religious or not.”
Some of this will be relative to the Grand Rapids area, but most is applicable to anyone.
- 1:21:00 Does CCL offer classes specifically tailored to postpartum, return of fertility after childbirth?
- 1:22:20 It’s hard to get the husband involved and felt like it was often him asking the wife, “Is this a fertile time? Is it not?” Teachers shared tips with balancing desires and communication as a couple about fertile and infertile times.
- A: Anytime your husband brings it up, you should be flattered that he’s madly in love with you.”
- CCL rang in from the man’s perspective, Creighton recommended the man being responsible for the chart…
- 1:27:55 How critical is the charting – from the perspective of, if I know it’s infertile mucus, do I have to chart that, and then once it’s fertile mucus I can chart again until back to phase 3? That’s what I’ve been doing; is there a problem with that?
- Billings answered first but everyone rang in – it’s very important especially in Phase 1 after a period. You need to see patterns and many things can affect your fertility, stress, illness, baby nursing, etc. Complacency is being open to life.
- Charting something that feels like it’s going nowhere seems monotonous, but eventually it’s going to go somewhere. You need to chart so you can see the change happen.
- 1:35:40 Where would be a good place to find a review if we took sympto-thermal classes a long time ago? Where can I ask questions about irregularities? (some online and some local answers)
- 1:40:00 cost of various classes
- 1:42:20 Practical ways to remind yourself to keep track of charts and work together as a team.
- 1:49:20 Let’s address the myth – does every NFP family have a larger than average size family?